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These Viral Shark Photos From Hurricane Matthew Are, Once Again, A Hoax

Another hurricane, another sharks-swimming-through-the-streets hoax.

Posted on October 7, 2016, at 5:46 p.m. ET

As Hurricane Matthew runs along the Florida and Georgia coasts — and having already caused hundreds of deaths in Haiti — perhaps you've seen images of what appear to be sharks swimming in flooded streets.

These images — which are hoaxes — are nothing new.

They frequently pop up during hurricanes, and are spread far and wide through social media, even years after being proven false.

Most of these images are created by editing two photos together. For example, here's one of the most popular hoax pics, as compared to a photo someone took while shark diving in South Africa in 2006, which can be found on Flickr.

The water may be murkier on the left, but check out the splash — it's the same pic.

The water may be murkier on the left, but check out the splash — it's the same pic.

The water may be murkier on the left, but check out the splash — it's the same pic.

And this picture, which is frequently claimed to have been taken during Hurricane Sandy (and basically every hurricane since) actually comes from a 2005 issue of Africa Geographic.

After a subway station in Toronto flooded in 2012, Jamie King created this image and edited in sharks as a joke, he said on Twitter.

@jaxmayorcurry / Via Twitter: @jaxmayorcurry

Soon after, this image gained widespread media circulation due to rumors that it showed a collapsed shark tank in Kuwait.

And now, of course, it's receiving a third life as a Hurricane Matthew hoax.

Initiated by trolls and attention-seekers, propagated by people's legitimate fears — and in spite of repeated debunking — these images continue to spread.

@ReallySilent / Via Twitter: @ReallySilent

So, next time you see a shark roaming the streets during a hurricane, be vigilant.

It's probably/definitely fake.

All together now:

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.